March 21, 2003

Sports Movies.: In honor of the Oscars (and Friday), I think we should have a special post on sports movies. Which do you think are the best? The worst? Why? Please bring your movies (and show us where we can buy or rent them, too!). I want as wide a variety of sports as possible.

posted by worldcup2002 to culture at 01:50 PM - 39 comments

Please, I'm thinking entertainment or documentaries. Instructional videos really shouldn't count, OK? Unless there's some amazing reason you think they qualify. And, I don't have any connection with that site whatsoever. I just found it by googling "sports movies."

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:53 PM on March 21, 2003

Well, all my favorite movies are about Soccer...Shaolin soccer, Victory, Mean Machine...but i better not talk about them or this may turn into another soccer thread... :P

posted by StarFucker at 01:55 PM on March 21, 2003

Over the Top and No Holds Barred!!! OH YEAH!! Really, can you even come close to the excitement of a rags to riches story of a professional arm wrestler? I don't think you even comprehend the immaculate power of this movie.

posted by Stan Chin at 01:59 PM on March 21, 2003

All time best sports movie. Next on would be Brian's Song and The Longest Yard.

posted by bcb2k2 at 02:08 PM on March 21, 2003

Everyone, please indicate the sport related to each movie, too! SF, please link. but i better not talk about them or this may turn into another soccer thread... :P I know what you're talking about. I was partly trying to appease Saddam Grumpy with this post. But I thought this was a good post, anyway, don't you? I'd really like to see some good movies here (even if soccer movies are my favorite ... and I haven't seen a single one! Oh, except for The Cup, which had those Nepalese monks.) I'm surprised nobody said: Rocky!

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:11 PM on March 21, 2003

Shaolin Soccer doesn't come out in the states until August 8th. Ill be first in line for it, though. I could watch Slap Shot over and over again. And I'm not sure if this counts as a real sport, but I love the original Rollerball. It's so bad it's good. Kick some ass, James Caan!

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:21 PM on March 21, 2003

Oh shit! I forgot about The Cup!! That movie was awesome!! I got teary eyed actually... By the way, if you are going to tell someone to give links, how about doing so yourself, punk!? Here are the previous ones... Victory, Mean Machine, Shaolin Soccer.

posted by StarFucker at 02:22 PM on March 21, 2003

The first sports movie I saw as a kid that I loved was Breaking Away. I'm a huge fan of Bull Durham as well, and watch it before most games for inspiration. It's not often the catcher gets the girl. I second "Victory" mentioned above. I will also admit to liking these two football movies, Wildcats and Any Given Sunday. I like the latter one both the plot twist at the end and for the scene with Cameron Diaz strolling through the locker room with all the naked brothas hanging out. As for basketball, Hoosiers was excellent but even better was Hoop Dreams.

posted by vito90 at 02:30 PM on March 21, 2003

Does GYMKATA count?

posted by eckeric at 03:34 PM on March 21, 2003

When We Were Kings is a great documentary about the "Rumble in the Jungle" which I highly recommend. And hell, BMX is a sport right. The single movie I watched more than any other from age 9-12: Rad. Also, if anyone has Greatest Goals Of World Cup USA 94, you can see me right after this goal.

posted by pfuller at 03:42 PM on March 21, 2003

Gymkata! Gymkata might be the worst movie I've ever enjoyed. There's a hilarious scene in which he does a parallel- bar routine on a randomly-placed set of poles, kicking people the whole time. Horribly great stuff.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:47 PM on March 21, 2003

All sports movies suck. Really, I can't stand them, even Hoosiers.

posted by corpse at 03:51 PM on March 21, 2003

I agree with vito. Hoop Dreams still haunts me. It was an absolute shame that it did not get nominated for the Oscars. I remember all the critics being stunned by its absence. I want to know if anyone has seen the recent "Bend it Like Beckham"? The film has gotten good reviews and I'm planning on seeing it.

posted by jacknose at 04:03 PM on March 21, 2003

How could you not love The Karate Kid? Hey, SF, you ended up linking it anyway, didn't ya? Who's the punk now? Who's yo' daddy? Punk! And, btw, Bend it like Beckham is in US theaters now.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:07 PM on March 21, 2003

All sports movies suck. Oh, I don't know, Rumble in the Jungle was pretty good. And Love and Basketball if nothing else, had a fun soundtrack.

posted by eckeric at 04:19 PM on March 21, 2003

Football: Hey, what about Rudy? Baseball: The Bad News Bears or Field of Dreams or A League of Their Own (this is the only one I've seen)? Golf: And, oh my god, Caddyshack or The Legend of Bagger Vance (kind of saw this one) or Tin Cup or Happy Gilmore (saw this)! Ice Hockey: Mighty Ducks! Hmmm ... Mystery, Alaska. Bowling: The Big Lebowski, a really lousy excuse for Jeff Bridges to get drunk. Soccer: I really should see Boys from Brazil. I am going crazy!

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:39 PM on March 21, 2003

I'm amazed no-one's mentioned the oscar winning Chariots of fire yet. Oh, and Escape to Victory. So cheesy it's good.

posted by BigCalm at 06:27 PM on March 21, 2003

Ah, you nicked Escape to Victory, BigClam. :-) Also agree with Samsonov's Slap Shot and Rollerball. Great stuff. With those options removed I'd have to go for The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. Though what a prentice is, is beyond me.

posted by squealy at 08:16 PM on March 21, 2003

Slap Shot 2 for worst. Stephen Baldwin should be drawn, quartered, and have his head used as a puck for ruining every fond moment I have of the original.

posted by adampsyche at 08:59 PM on March 21, 2003

What about White Men Can't Jump, or Basketball Diaries? And M*A*S*H has a great football game. Was Remember the Titans any good? (I played against this team in high school.)

posted by kirkaracha at 12:24 AM on March 22, 2003

(Saddam Grumpy, eh? I thought that DamnGrum Hussein would have been better.) Here are my favourites by sport: Baseball: The Natural - The scene at the end still gives me goosebumps. Field of Dreams - I bawl like a child when he asks to play catch with his dad. Bull Durham - A great movie because of the acting of everyone involved. The mound scene is now a classic. Major League - Ditch the love story and it's even better. League of Their Own - Surprisingly good movie (with Madonna!) about women's baseball during the war. Soccer: Victory - There aren't too many soccer movies in North America, so this one stands out for the "broken arm" scene. (The only other soccer movie I think I've seen is Ladybugs, and I wouldn't inflict that crap on anyone, friend or foe.) Football: Rudy - Always cheer for the underdog. Remember the Titans - A bit formulaic, but still a good movie overall. Basketball: Hoop Dreams - Excellent documentary. White Men Can't Jump - Excellent comedy and the best trash talking on film. Hockey: Slapshot - Naturally. Miracle on Ice - Even as a Canadian, I still love watching this story. Youngblood - Because Rob Lowe gets his face bloodied. Damn pretty boy! Others: Searching for Bobby Fischer - A fantastic chess movie. Cool Runnings - A nice fun family movie about the Jamaican bobsled team. Rounders - Poker is a sport, right? The Hustler - The definitive movie about pool/billiards. (though I'm looking forward to Poolhall Junkies)

posted by grum@work at 09:37 AM on March 22, 2003

Basketball: Fletch - Didn't he play for the Lakers?

posted by geekyguy at 09:44 AM on March 22, 2003

geekyguy: He dreamed of playing for the Lakers. But he was a basketball fan and there are enough references that it qualifies I think.

posted by grum@work at 09:46 AM on March 22, 2003

Nice stuff, grummy. Probably the most comprehensive, best formatted, most informative comment of the lot. More! More!

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:25 AM on March 22, 2003

Baseball: Eight Men Out, John Sayles' recreation of the Black/White Sox scandal. Mandatory viewing, really!

posted by qbert72 at 11:14 AM on March 22, 2003

Any of Bud Greenspan's Olympic documentaries are better than the vast majority of sports movies out there. Sydney 2000's edition rocked!

posted by jasonbondshow at 12:40 PM on March 22, 2003

Was Baseball - A Film by Ken Burns any good?

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:37 PM on March 22, 2003

I'd forgotten about Cool Runnings. Fabulous film. Thanks grum

posted by BigCalm at 03:12 PM on March 22, 2003

Eight Men Out was a good movie too. I'd forgotten about that one. The Ken Burn documentary is fantastic. It's not really a "film", as it's 10 television episodes strung together. However, it gets thumbs up from me because I enjoyed learning more of the history of the game (even though it was NY-centric and skipped past the 70s/80s too quickly).

posted by grum@work at 04:54 PM on March 22, 2003

I vote for The Natural or Rudy. The final scene in The Natural sends chill down my spine every time I see it. So much, in fact, that I have to beg my GF to watch it every time it's on AMC. Sports fan or no, Rudy can transform even the most hardened of spirits into a blubbering fool. Plus, what about Any Given Sunday? Any feature film starring LT is all good in my book. I always thought Hoosiers and Blue Chips were great. I'm actually dumbfounded that Raging Bull hasn't been mentioned earlier.

posted by ttrendel at 04:56 AM on March 23, 2003

I love FIELD OF DREAMS and BULL DURHAM. I also love TIN CUP, although I have yet to meet anyone who plays golf who doesn't hate it. And if we count fishing as a sport, there are always A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT and even JAWS!!! I also seem to recall liking CHARIOTS OF FIRE, although I haven't seen it in a very long time.

posted by Jaquandor at 04:30 PM on March 23, 2003

All soccer movies are embarrassing. The best sports movies of course are only tenuosly about sport. Tin Cup passes an hour or two pleasantly as does Jerry Maguire. Breaking Away is one of my favourite films, I watch it regularly on video. Bull Durham is great, but boxing films are the gonads: Raging Bull, Somebody Up There Likes me, Fat City, even the first version of The Champ. Does Diner qualify as a sports film seeing as the main drama centres around gambling debts? Hustler is great as is the poker one with Steve Mqueen. White Men Can't jump is entertaining enough and Hoop Dreams is very affecting, Raging Bull is without shadow of a doubt the best sports film ever though. Not forgetting The Sandlot Kids.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:16 AM on March 24, 2003

Hey, how about The Color of Money?

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:27 AM on March 24, 2003

They make movies about soccer? Why? Here's my list by sport: Baseball: Major League, The Natural, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Eight Men Out, A League Of Their Own — and the Oscar goes to ... The Bad News Bears! This is the best MOVIE of the bunch ... for pure baseball, I loved Eight Men Out. Football: North Dallas Forty, Brian's Song, The Best of Times, — and the Oscar goes to ... The Longest Yard! Great action, great storyline ... and check out Bernadette Peter's hair! I think I broke his freakin' neck! Hockey: Slap Shot! This might be the funniest sports movie of all time. Piss on old-time hockey! Golf: Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup, Caddyshack — and the Oscar goes to ... Dead Solid Perfect! Based on a Dan Jenkins novel, this is John Daly's life 10 years before it happened. Boxing: Bang the Drum Slowly, Rocky, Diggstown, When We Were Kings — and the Oscar goes to ... Raging Bull! Man, this is one of the best movies ever, period! Basketball: Like Mike, White Men Can't Jump, Hoop Dreams, — and as if there were any doubt, the Oscar goes to ... Hoosiers! The scene where Gene Hackman measures the rim before the state final is the best single scene ever in a sports movie. Others deserving mention: Baseketball — Bob Costas mentions his nipples. Worth the price of admission right there; The Pride of the Yankees — The best of the old-time baseball films; The Hustler — Paul Newman can freaking act, and Jackie Gleason's pretty damn good himself. How about the worst ever?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2003

How about the worst ever? Gleaming the Cube? Unfortunately, I saw it. I've yet to recover from it.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:01 PM on March 24, 2003

Favorite baseball movie -- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet -- "Bang the Drum Slowly." A very young Robert DeNiro plays a dull-witted, dying journeyman catcher for a professional New York baseball team. It also includes an introduction to the card game TEGWAR (the exciting game without any rules).

posted by bitstop at 05:07 PM on March 24, 2003

Forgive my error in putting "Bang The Drum Slowly" in boxing as opposed to baseball ... miss it when I posted. It is a tremendous movie.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:38 PM on March 24, 2003

Worst ever? My votes would be: Baseball: The Babe - VERY dull and Goodman looked TERRIBLE swinging the bat. Soccer : Ladybugs - Rodney Dangerfield and Jackée Harry? How could this have missed? It might have had to do with the cross-dressing homosexual pedophilia jokes, but I'm just going out on a limb here. Football: The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon - I can't make this shit up. Basketball: Juwanna Mann - Seriously though..what the fuck were they thinking? I haven't seen it myself, but reviews have been pretty much in agreement on this waste of celluloid. Hockey: Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice - Let us never speak of this movie again. Others: Rollerball - No, not the cool original. The LL Cool J sequel. Driven - Vroom vroom! Screeeeetch! Crash! Boom!

posted by grum@work at 10:44 PM on March 24, 2003

They make movies about soccer? Why? Typical comment... Hey grum@work, is this one of your friends? This really fucking pisses me off!

posted by StarFucker at 08:41 AM on March 25, 2003

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